Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, “Visualize Whirled Peas”? I admit I got a chuckle out of it the first time I saw it. It’s such a refreshing alternative to slogans like “Embrace Peace,” “Give Peace a Chance,” “Peace and Love,” or even “Girly Girls for Peace.” I’m tired of brightly colored bumper stickers and cheerful slogans implying that our search for peace is easier than it is. Such slogans seem rooted in the belief that peace is primarily a matter of willpower, something we can achieve if we all get together and try a little harder. While I’m all for togetherness and trying hard, I don’t think these can ultimately produce the peace we long for.
Here’s why: Peace is something only God can give. Here’s how Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, puts it:
“There will never be peace in the world until there is peace in nations. There will never be peace in nations until there is peace in communities. There will never be peace in communities until there is peace in families. There will never be peace in families until there is peace in individuals. And there will never be peace in individuals until we invite the Prince of Peace to reign in our hearts.”1
If you want to visualize world peace, imagine yourself holding one of those Russian nesting dolls, only yours is shaped like a globe with progressively smaller globes inside. Start opening the globes. When it’s time to pull out the last and smallest one, you will find the hidden heart of peace. It’s not a globe but a small figurine that looks a lot like you—a person in whom Christ’s Spirit lives. He is the one we call the Lord and giver of peace.
- Rick Warren, “A Time for Reconciliation,” session 3 of The Purpose of Christmas: A Three-Session, Video-Based Study for Groups and Families (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), DVD.